Vassar man suspected of shooting officer captured after shootout with police

By John Schneider and Tom Gilchrist

Advertiser staff

A man wanted by police in multiple municipalities – including Tuscola County – following a statewide crime spree is now in custody after firing on officers who were searching for the man following the shooting of a police officer in Kochville Township.

Authorities say Joshua M. Rosebush, 29, of Vassar, the suspect in the shooting of a Saginaw Township police officer early Tuesday morning, was apprehended about 1 p.m. Tuesday in Shiawassee County following a brief pursuit east of Lansing.

According to a Twitter post from the Michigan State Police Bay Region, Rosebush fired on police, who returned fire, injuring Rosebush. No officers were injured in the gunfight and Rosebush was transported to a hospital for treatment.

A Saginaw Township police officer was shot at about 2 a.m. on Tittabawassee Road, between Fashion Square Boulevard. and Bay Road, near the Fashion Square Mall. According to investigators, the officer, identified as 16-year veteran Jeff Koenig, was shot in the face after approaching a Dodge pickup during a traffic stop.

Koening was listed in critical but stable condition as of Tuesday morning and was scheduled to be transported to University of Michigan Hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Saginaw Township Police Chief Don Pussehl held a press conference at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, saying it is the policy of the department to hand investigations involving police shootings to the Michigan State Police.

MSP Lt. Sergeant James Lang said during the conference that the suspect was driving a stolen vehicle when he was pulled over, then ditched it a short time later and stole a second vehicle. Shortly before the press conference, Lang said the second vehicle thought to have been stolen by the suspect – a white Ford pickup truck – was discovered in Flint at the Home Depot on Corunna Road.

As The Advertiser reported on Jan. 5, Rosebush is the suspect in the theft of a Ford F-150 pickup in Denmark Township earlier this month. Vassar Police Chief Ben Guile told The Advertiser that Rosebush is suspected of breaking into multiple vehicles early on Jan. 3 before stealing a Dodge pickup truck and later crashing it into a ditch near the corner of Gilford and Wilder roads in Denmark Township. The suspect then stole the Ford F-150.

The Ford was later found near Farwell in Clare County, and nearby it was discovered that a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban had been stolen. The stolen Suburban also was found abandoned in Flint, according to authorities.

Rosebush has been convicted of 13 felonies in Michigan according to state records, and was sentenced most recently in 2016 in Tuscola County for assaulting or obstructing a public officer, and for two counts of stealing or retaining a financial transaction device without consent.

At some point, Guile said, Rosebush removed an electronic tether device used to monitor him.

“He cut it off and threw it in the front yard,” Guile said.

Rosebush was paroled from prison on April 30, and following removal of his tether, is a parole absconder.

John Schneider is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at

Tom Gilchrist is a staff writer for The Advertiser and can be reached at

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